How can I help my baby sleep when she has a cold?

Q: How can I help my baby sleep better when she has a cold?

A: Ask any parent and she'll tell you that one of the worst parts of having a baby with a cold is the sleep disruption -- hers and yours. But you shouldn't give any over-the-counter cold or cough meds to babies under 2 (certain ingredients can cause serious side effects, including increased nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, and rarely, even seizures). What you can do:

- Spritz a little saline spray up baby's nose at bedtime to loosen mucus, and then suck it out with a nasal aspirator. This should allow her to breathe easier long enough to doze off (you may need to repeat the process in the middle of the night). - Place a humidifier in your baby's room to moisten the air and loosen congestion. - Elevate your baby's head, which can minimize the discomfort of a stuffy nose. It's fine to let babies less than 3 or 4 months sleep their car seat. After that age, babies should go down in the crib -- they tend to sleep better when they can stretch out and roll around -- but you can place a folded towel or crib wedge under the mattress to raise your baby's head (never place anything directly in the crib, however; this can be a suffocation hazard).

Copyright 2005 Meredith Corporation. Updated 2009.


  1. Not sure who wrote this article but it contains life threatening advice.

    Babies should never sleep in their car seats or any non flat surface. They can suffocate- either by their airways being blocked by the angle of their neck (in car seat- read the warning label stuck to your car seat) ; or by rolling over (if elevated at an angle i.e towel or crib angler). Crib anglers are not safety approved despite being on the market.

    1. Completely agree!! Who wrote this article? Babies should never nightsleep in their car seat ! I hope someone looks at this article again and takes it down . Terrible advice

  2. Sleeping through the night is so important for you and your child. What really helped us was the sleep training a friend recommended us. You can find it here:

  3. My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website >>SleepBaby .org<< - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! >>SleepBaby .org<< - sorry, you can't post links here so you'll have to turn it into a normal link :) Best of luck to you and your family!

All Topics in Health

Parents may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.